|There's not a lot that separates most southern biscuit recipes from each other. They all include flour, buttermilk or milk, and some kind of fat - but there are a few southern secrets that'll help you make the best homemade biscuits ever, including using the right southern biscuit flour.|
Southern Buttermilk BiscuitsPerfect, light and fluffy, homemade buttermilk biscuits used to elude me until I learned a few "secrets" and I have perfect biscuits every time now. You don't have to use an iron skillet - I just like the crunchy bottoms that it produces, sort of like how we like to do our cornbread down south. Of course baking them spaced apart on a cookie sheet or touching one another in a cake pan works perfectly fine also - the first producing more crunch all around, and the latter producing soft sided biscuits.
Joe D: I tried your Perfect Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe this morning. Outstanding tips. These were the best biscuits I've ever made. Thanks for the tips.
Recipe: Southern Buttermilk Biscuits©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 12 min | Yield: About 6 to 12 biscuits
- 2 cups of cold White Lily Self Rising Flour
- 1/4 cup very cold Land O' Lakes pure butter
- 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Secret #1 - Coat a cast iron skillet with shortening, or spray a baking sheet or cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.**
Secret #2 - Use cold flour, and for the best biscuits, use a soft flour - like White Lily - and yes, it does make a difference! Put the flour into a bowl and Secret #3 - cut the very cold butter into slices and toss in the flour. Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour until it is crumbly. Secret #4 - Use buttermilk. Real buttermilk. All good southern biscuits contain buttermilk. Period. Add buttermilk and mix very lightly. Dough will be very shaggy.
Put a bit of flour on countertop and scoop dough out. Sprinkle a bit of flour over the top and gently push together to form a rectangle. Secret #5 - Remember, a successful fluffy and light biscuit comes from keeping the dough cold and not handling it too much. The heat from your hands will melt the butter, so use a gentle and soft touch because you do not want your dough to get warm!
Secret #6 - Take the rectangle and fold the short sides in toward middle, turn the dough, press down into a rectangle again and repeat. Repeat this folding once more and pat into desired thickness, usually about an inch. This creates flaky layers in the biscuits.
Using a biscuit cutter or the rim of a small glass, cut into rounds. You'll want a cutter or a glass that measures about 3 inches across. Secret #7 - Take care not to twist the glass, but only push down and lift up on the cutter. Twisting the cutter will cause the fibers in the edges of the biscuit to close and result in a flatter and more dense biscuit. So just press down and lift up - no twisting!!
I like to do my buttermilk biscuits in a skillet, like I do my cornbread, which produces a crunchy crust on the bottom. You can also cook them on a half sheet baking pan or in a small greased cake pan. Bake at 500 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. If a crisper biscuit is desired, place on baking sheet about an inch apart.
Makes somewhere between 6 to 12 biscuits depending on how thin/thick you press them out. I use a 3" cutter and get about 8 biscuits that fit perfectly into a cast iron skillet. You will need to regather the dough and gently push it back together for the last couple biscuits.
Cook's Notes: THIS RECIPE USES SELF RISING FLOUR. Regular all purpose flour will not work without making adjustments for baking soda and salt. I always keep extra flour in my freezer. For light and fluffy biscuits, cold ingredients and minimal handling are really essential. My preference is butter, however, lard or a good vegetable shortening may also be used.
For a crunchy biscuit bottom, and my personal favorite way, is while you are cutting your biscuits, generously rub down a cast iron skillet with shortening and then stick it in the hot oven just long enough for the oil to melt and get hot. Do not forget about it! It should get smokin' hot but you do not want to set it on fire. Ideally, when you put your biscuits in the skillet to bake them they should sizzle. This is the only thing in my humble southern opinion that makes a southern cornbread, because it produces a golden crusty and crunchy bottom, and it works equally well with these buttermilk biscuits also. Oh so good! The picture below shows the bottom of one of the biscuits.
Herbed Biscuit Variation: Add up to 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped herbs. Good choices include sage, chives, parsley, dill, thyme, or a combination. Reduce to about 2 teaspoons max if using dried herbs. Make biscuits a smaller tea size for a potluck, church supper or a party and fill with Chutney Chicken Salad.
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